Here’s How COVID Is Affecting the Food Supply

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by J G Martinez D

I am writing this article with the intent to share my knowledge with my readers, not to trigger alarms or increase anxiety. There is too much fuzzy information out there already. What I do know is, we can not trust the prevalence of external sources to feed ourselves. While it may not seem too bad at the moment, there are reasons to be concerned. We must think seriously about these matters and continue efficiently and quietly prepping.

There is currently too much noise and fluff out there to extract something useful from most reports. We will have to wait a bit longer. While you wait, I suggest checking the economic news as often as you sanitize your hands. I have posted official information here that is grounded in facts. My research has resulted in trustworthy information gathered from reliable sources. Whether you trust them or not, that’s up to you.

Have food prices been affected?

An article posted on the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition website mentions that food prices seem to have not been deeply affected on a global scale at this time.

While economic models suggest Covid-19 will not have a major impact on global food prices, it is anticipated to put upward pressure on food prices in some areas of the world. Similar food price shocks have had large consequences in the past.

This article also mentions critical data that was missed and a new tool developed to help fill in that data. GAIN took a look at the data and determined the price of many food items have indeed gone up in all countries due to the pandemic.

RELATED: Life After COVID: A Look at the New Economy

What about farmworkers from the south and the food supply?

NPR (National Public Radio) explains:

About 250,000 workers came to the U.S. on H-2A visas last year, the majority of them from Mexico. They’ve become an increasingly important piece of America’s food industry.

Also reported by the NPR was the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City suspended non-emergency visa appointments out of health concerns. However, farm employers were notified that most of the farmworkers would still be able to get visas. Business as usual, so it would seem. Yet there is still this fear of lack of food supply.

Things will change. They always do.

We preppers face things like this differently. However, I have discovered non-preppers are selling their properties and heading to the hills. This is an excellent attitude to have for those who can. It will also diminish pressure upon the existing production infrastructure and even provide some positive flow of products to the local areas, which could need it.

Nearly everyone is seeing shortages of imports.

In 2012 we had everything we wanted to buy in my piece of heaven. Now, most of the food is imported or incredibly expensive. As far as I know, all of the pasta, rice, cornmeal, and other local products that once were enough are now luxury commodities. As I’ve mentioned, vast fortunes keep being made with the importers. It’s highly suspicious to learn that most of this trade comes from Turkey. (Yes, the same country where Nicolas was seen enjoying a Cuban cigar while devouring a large steak prepared by the infamous Salt Bae in a luxury restaurant.)

Tough times produce tough people.

One of my friends has already started his business producing, bottling, and selling mayonnaise. Another of my friends, who I mentioned before, has thrived because his family owns a bee farm. I told him when gasoline started to become scarce to get rid of his sedan and replace it with a good diesel SUV, but he didn’t listen. Now he’s struggling, but still getting ahead, to distribute his product. The pandemic gave the ruling communist party a perfect excuse to impose travel restrictions from one municipal entity (like your counties in the U.S. or parishes in the U.K.) to another.

If someone in 2012 had told me that our almost entire food production and importing network was going to crash, I would have listened. I knew that many dirty business were going on with the oil revenues. Our local food production wasn’t enough. It hasn’t been for some time, as the population grew a lot between 2000 and 2010. People migrated from farming lands to the oil-producing states, making it necessary to import products like meat, milk, and rice from Argentina, Uruguay, and other Southern countries. These products sold at a loss, in the (previously State-seized) supermarket chain targeted to function as a tool in the domination and subjugation scheme. The scheme was to control the food supply and starve those who dare to refuse the imposition of the socialist party line.

What should be the next course of action?

Today we now have different variables to be analyzed, no matter where we are located. This strange pandemic came to produce sort of a ground-leveling effect. Business-as-usual is not going to be the same for a while, if ever.

We have witnessed these last few years an awesome setup of industries being born: the agricultural robots, vertical automated farming (as inefficiently from an energy perspective as it is at the moment), and similar initiatives. That is great, and I’m excited about it: migration hurt much of Venezuela, and finding someone to work in the fields has never been easy because of the lack of opportunities for a better life. These developments are going to have a certain weight in the future. However, we all know some jobs can’t be fully automated, like butchering a cow, a chicken, or a hog. Automation is not cheap neither. And this is the bottleneck we have to be aware of.

We strongly recommend that you purchase certain items every time you visit the store to rebuild your personal stockpile while you can.

Does fear generate empty shelves syndrome?

According to an article on the USDA blog, data currently available shows the U.S. will remain “well supplied, and food will continue to be affordable.”  Nonetheless, shelves in many parts of the US continue to be bare. Stores are still rationing certain items. The report offers other reassurances, including the fact that all industries in the food supply chain have been deemed essential and excused from any shelter-in-place orders.

Another possible explanation for the empty shelves is many restaurants have closed or are going out of business. People are going to buy much more food at retail stores. But this seems to be temporary.

Still, I find it concerning to read posts in our Facebook group reporting that meat and fish processing plants have been closed due to a high infection percentage of employees. If those plants are not subject to shelter-in-place orders, are those infected people at work? I have not read anything about the pandemic sweeping out an entire crew. Not yet.

Learn to adapt to the reality surrounding you quickly.

You have to adapt to the new rules.

Fear-based or not, food prices are going to be higher, thanks to uncertainty being much higher. No matter your degree of confidence in your food supply, it would be best to be as independent as you can be. All of my plans have not resulted exactly as once thought, but that’s OK. I can adapt myself to the circumstances, and keep moving.

My dear readers, for the first time in many years, I believe, it’s not a professional degree that is going to bring food to your table. It’s not even if you are smarter or stronger. Maybe those with money will have it easy for some time. But, I believe having a variety of skills is your best survival tool. Skills used to do something with added value: transform raw materials, or grow some kind of commodity.

Welcome the change and make changes.

After being locked down in their own houses, people who never saw the need for prepping are now researching bugout locations, city bunkers, BOVs, alternate energy sources, and learning about what they consider useful…maybe for the next disaster. People are preparing for the next event because it is coming. And this preparedness takes the pressure off the emergency teams and organizations, allowing the redirection of resources and time for those who really find themselves in trouble.

The more food we produce for ourselves and others, in addition to the development of our own careers, will add value that is hard to quantify. Enough with the industrial big agro! It’s time for self-sustainable farming, where everybody must collaborate.

Be safe!  And don’t forget to stay tuned!

Jose

About Jose

Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

J.G. Martinez D

J.G. Martinez D

About Jose Jose is an upper middle class professional. He is a former worker of the oil state company with a Bachelor’s degree from one of the best national Universities. He has a small 4 members family, plus two cats and a dog. An old but in good shape SUV, a good 150 square meters house in a nice neighborhood, in a small but (formerly) prosperous city with two middle size malls. Jose is a prepper and shares his eyewitness accounts and survival stories from the collapse of his beloved Venezuela. Thanks to your help Jose has gotten his family out of Venezuela. They are currently setting up a new life in another country. Follow Jose on YouTube and gain access to his exclusive content on Patreon. Donations: paypal.me/JoseM151

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31 Responses

  1. This year is the first year my fig tree has produced. It isn’t enough to can, but we are eating as we go. Today it is suppose to be 111F outside. Yesterday was 109F. The high heat and UV killed my onions and garlic. Even my bean plants are dead. However, I have some grapes (not as many as last year), which I can and make grape juice. We don’t really use jelly here to justify making jelly. The tomato plants that I have in the green house are doing okay, but the ones outside are not. I will be doing more inside container gardening due to the extreme weather.

    I brought some citrus plants that grow in containers (u.s.citrus.com) which produce a lot, but don’t get big. I was reading about growing cherry tomatoes and then put them in a blender. Then canning afterwards. No blanching, no removing seeds, etc. I am trying this method for canning. I am trying to be more self sufficient in my food. Even sweet potato leaves can be eaten or fed to the poultry. I notice a reduction in the number of bees in my area. Because we are dry out here, the bees come to me for water. I am not seeing the hoards that I use to.

    On my property I have a cactus that is considered spineless (not entirely though). It is the same they use to eat in Mexico. I am cultivating that as a food source.

    I use to think I could grow a lot of varieties of plants, but I am focusing on only certain ones I use the most. I would like to say there is a community out here that trades foods, but there isn’t. No farmer markets, no dairy, no csa, etc. My nearest real grocery store is about 100 miles away, but this is my bug out location. We moved here 12 years ago.

    1. Mette, We leave water around for bees like we do for birds. Small shallow planter dishes with a small block of wood for them to rest on keeps them from falling in and drowning. Refreshing them every day gets rid of any mosquito larvae. Kept in the shade they don’t evaporate too quickly. The bees seem happy with this arrangement and keep coming back to our yard.

      Save the bees!

      1. I usually have a large swarm gathering around our poutlry water. Today is 111 F. But I have not noticed the numbers that I use to see. Only a few here or there.

    2. That’s great to hear. Too bad some of your crops didn’t make it. Maybe going underground is a good idea? just asking.

  2. Interesting that both Jose and Selco are saying the same thing, “adapt to survive”

    I can’t repeat this enough, ” A storm is coming Nov. 4th 2020, prepare for ugly!!!!!!!!”

  3. You’ve heard from 2 who’ve seen the elephant. You don’t need step by step instructions to go the store and buy food folks. If your old enough to drive then your old enough to know that a can of peaches last a lot longer than a bologna sandwich on a shelf so get busy.
    Easy is over, warnings are past and it’s going to get bad. Hopefully it’s a “before it gets better” but who knows and why risk it.
    Get off facebook, get some bailing wire and start learning snares, don’t run to the house when it rains but rather walk out in the yard and gather fire making material then see if you can get it lit with wet stuff, take 20 minutes and visit with the neighbors and see where they are at with things, wash out that jar you was fixing to throw away and fill it with water, charge every battery and every electric device you can find cause drilling a hole is a lot easier than boring a hole.
    Stay safe and good luck

    1. Matt in Oklahoma
      ????????????????????
      Do it folks. Can’t stress it enough.
      Missouri took a legally owned gun from a homeowner. With nothing more than a ‘search warrant,’ which was wrong on so many levels I don’t even know where to start. If it’s true the Supreme Court just have away HALF of Oklahoma …????! I’m just saying…folks. Open the ????!!
      It only takes one successful gun grab to turn into something bad for this country. Get prepped. Times waste’n! Texas is hot and Hal Turner posted a letter from a friend called ‘Its Just..’.
      Go read it. Maybe it will start getting people to think critically.. halturnerradioshow.com.
      Thanks Matt and thanks Jose. Thanks Daisy and Selco. 10-4.

    2. Some of the best advice yet. People still seem to not want to believe what is happening. Time for inventory is past; scrape every penny you can & hit Walmart or Kroger or wherever. Get your tools in shape, buy the kids some new shoes a size larger than they wear now, THINK!

      1. Thanks Linda.
        That´s EXACTLY what we´re doing here. Thanks God once in Venezuela we won´t need so many warm clothes.

    3. Dear Matt, not everyone of us leaves in a place where a skill like making a snare is useful. For example, nearby my hutch dang wild rabbits haven’t been seen since decades ago. They avoid human “contact”. It’s incredibly hard. On the other hand, with a slingshot you could maybe hunt some birds.
      There are plenty of people in the boards who can benefit a lot, once the moment of pulling their own weight arrives. That’s the people we have to write for, too.

      Anyway if you have any suggestion you would like to read about, share it with us.

      1. “Snares” is just an example not a directive. If not snares then slingshot if not slingshot then make a gill net if not a net make or do something to improve your position rather than sit and express feelings on social media.
        You’ll be better off in adapting quickly with skills rather than sore thumbs.

  4. Daisey,
    Didn’t you post a jalapeno relish recipe last year. It was so good, but I can’t find it.

    Please, Please.

    1. I can’t say if this is a total hoax or not, (above my pay grade, but I have my suspicions).
      What I can say is the response to the situation has been planned well in advance to destroy the U.S. economy and that of other western economies.
      As far back as 2010 there was a whitepaper talking about a pandemic, and the things that would be “necessary” to fight it.

    2. Hoax or real the belief doesn’t change the effect on us now or in the near future.
      Just like I said the other day just cause you don’t believe in Santa don’t mean you ain’t standing in a long line followed by increased traffic on the way home.

    3. I would not really call COVID-19 a hoax since it is real and is worse than the seasonal flu but I think you know that and are using the term hoax in another way.

  5. I can’t speak for Food Price increases Nationally, but locally, there’s been increases across the board. Increases in utilities, and other goods and services as well.

    1. Yep. The days when you could get a deal are over. Even clearance items are not such a deal anymore.

      Methinks this may mean that the supply is uncertain and businesses are having to squeege every last
      penny out of customer. I remember the crazy inflation in the 70s. Gas went from .70 / gallon to $1.20/gallon.
      The Fed drove up interest rates and it seemed to settle down. But then we had a recession in the early 80s
      when unemployment was high. That was a big kafaffle back then because the price of gas in shipping was
      passed on to the consumer. But gas is fairly cheap right now, so prices being up probably mean the supply
      is tighter.

      One elephant is the Bigs keep getting Bigger and the Littles keep getting Littler. We don’t know if we’ll have
      enough for who knows how long we’ll need our own supply. At least an heirloom garden can fill in the
      blanks. Fresh food is important to long term survival. The body needs enzymes from plant matter either fresh or
      cultured for good health.

  6. Our local grocery store is still not 100% on certain items, e.g. pasta, paper products, some brands of pre-made rice items, and meat is still thin.
    Prices have gone up.

    What is next year going to look like is anyone’s guess. We are planning for the worst as not to sound paranoid, but prudent.
    Improvise, adapt, overcome.

    1. The stores in my area are well stocked. Prices for most things have not gone up. Some items have actually gone down in price. Ground beef is the same price as it was three months ago and the same price as last year.

  7. In my area of Texas the main grocery store has product spaced out to cover the shelves that were previously full. Cereal aisle and others have empty spaces. Still have purchase limits on some items. Prices keep going up and meat prices are very high. Made plans to buy a steer to be butchered, but many others had the same idea so could not find a meat processor within 200 miles that had current availability. Many processors were booked out to March and April next year. I finally found one who reserved me a spot for January. Have to eat less meat until then.

    This site and a few others kept me informed so that I was able to stock up on essentials before the virus shutdown. I always try to have extra in the pantry, but the heads up made me add more. Kept me from having a toilet paper shortage among other things. Also allowed me to stay home comfortably. I continue to stock up as I can afford to.

    I have a small garden and plan on a fall garden. The garden has provided not only organic food, but something to keep my mind and body involved with something positive.

    1. Dear Texana,
      Maybe you could give it a shot with guinea pigs? in Peru they call it Cuy, and it´s a great protein resource, very meager and they breed quite good. Their manure is an incredible methane source, so if you combine rising this little fellows it with a biodigestor will have gas to spare.

  8. Here is something to help y’all who raise chickens or have access to FRESH eggs (only).

    https://youtu.be/BWAUeqDOMkw

    I just did my 90 day test using this method and the water stunk however after washing the eggs and cooking them they taste like store bought eggs. Not fresh but not bad. I cracked them individually and no issues. I figure the smell is just contaminates on the eggs that ripened. I had stored them in the tornado shelter. We also did a water float test and they passed.

    As with anything test it yourself and don’t trust anyone (especially me cause I’m sketchy and I wouldn’t trust me).

    Maybe this will help y’all get through winter/molt

    1. The water smelled bad because of the sulphur compounds. This permeates from the inner of the egg to the outside (shell is a selective permeable layer). This is what sometimes causes a greenish coloration in the yoke. It would be great do that testing in my hot climate.

  9. Tough times produce tough people – if only this was the rule rather than the exception. Truth is tough times break a lot of people more than it makes them stronger.

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